There will be a lot of gun owners and concealed carriers descending on downtown Atlanta in a couple days for the National Rifle Association’s annual conference, which is expected to draw about 80,000 people. But what are the local gun laws and how do attendees stay legal?
This story from myajc.com gives you the basic rundown.
If you want to carry in the state of Georgia you must either be a resident who has been issued a weapons carry license or you must have a reciprocal permit from another state.
Georgia has reciprocal agreements with 32 states, meaning permits issued in those states are recognized in Georgia.
Those states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
If you don’t have a carry permit, it’s almost certainly too late to get one for the NRA meeting, but if you do have a valid one, you can carry at the convention itself in the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center. However, guns are not allowed in other areas of the CNN Center, such as the food court and retail shops, the story says.
But what if you leave the convention to, say, head to a local bar or restaurant? Do you have stop back at the hotel to leave your sidearm?
Georgia allows a restaurant or bar owner to ask you to leave if they don’t want you to carry in their place of business, but there is no law against carrying in such places.
Permit holders may also carry in churches in Georgia, though they must ask for permission first.
If you’re coming from farther away, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will likely be your first stop. CCW is allowed in what are considered non-secure portions of the main terminals—which basically means the areas outside of TSA security checkpoints.
What about mass transit?
If you have a permit, you can carry on a MARTA train, but the agency requires that you have your license if you are armed. If you are found carrying on a train without your license, you will receive a citation and your firearm will be confiscated, the story says.
If you should wander to any institutions of higher learning, state law currently bans guns from being carried on a public university or college campus. If you find yourself on one, you are legally allowed to store the gun in a locked compartment of your car in the parking lot. You may not carry on campus, though that may change.